Saturday, March 18, 2017

Superbloom! (Kindergarten Week 30)

We took a drive to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to see the wildflowers. Because of all the rain we've gotten this winter, this year is a "superbloom."

Here are some of the flowers we saw...
...beavertail cactus...
...desert dandelions, desert sunflowers, sand verbena flowers, and dune evening primroses...
...parish poppies (yellow, upper left), monkeyflower (upper right), Arizona lupine (lower right), and chuparosa...
My husband, Pete, is showing Gemma a spider attacking a caterpillar. The large plant (right) is an ocotillo. We saw lots of ocotillos in bloom with flowers like candle flames.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Kindergarten Weeks 28 & 29

Here are a few things we've done the past two weeks...

Gemma did two art projects at CC. One was Degas-inspired, and the other was Morisot-inspired.
We finished reading Ronia: The Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren. It was wonderful.
Gemma learned more of her routine for her dance recital in June.
She played songs in Alfred Piano Prep Level D, as well as old favorites.

Here she is practicing the monkey bars after church...
...and climbing a tree.
We built marshmallow and pretzel "insects," with 3 body parts (head, thorax, abdomen), and 6 legs (on the thorax).
And swim lessons started up again!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kindergarten Weeks 26 & 27

It has been so rainy the past few weeks!

Reading: It looks like this will be the year that Gemma reads the entire Magic Tree House series. Our current read aloud is Ronja: The Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren; we're halfway through it, and we're both enjoying it immensely. We just finished reading The Phantom Tollbooth. Gemma read about half of it on her own, which amazes me because it's a W (end of 5th grade) reading level. She loved the book and was excited to tell me all about the parts she read while I was at work. If you asked her which book she likes better (Ronja or Tollbooth), I think she would tell you Tollbooth. She loves the absurdity and the adventure.

Math: We are slowly moving through Life of Fred: Jellybeans. We've been learning about unions, intersections, prime numbers, and now decimals!

Gemma had a tiny part in a LACHSA student film. She was in one scene, playing the part of a little girl learning to dance at a cotillion.

At CC, they did Monet-inspired paintings.
At Tinker Group, Gemma learned to use a hammer and nails to make me a string-art Valentine.
She learned to play two new songs - The Magic Man and Yippee Ti Yi Yo.
And we took a field trip to the Getty Villa...

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Kindergarten Week 25

It was a very rainy week.

Daddy and Gemma went on a field trip to the Peterson Auto Museum.
We read a couple of chapters of The Phantom Tollbooth and a couple of chapters of Astrid Lindgren's Ronia: The Robber's Daughter. They're both excellent!

She painted a landscape at CC.
It was on the refrigerator, and a watercolor hanging above it got wet and two drops of blue paint dripped onto this painting. And then there's the story of the woman with the black vertical lines on her face... When I asked Gemma about that, she answered, "Oh, she's a tiger woman." That explains the orange skin.

She learned the last song in her Alfred Piano Level Prep C book, "Indians," which means I had to order the Prep D book...and the Sacred Solos book...and, just for fun, the Level 1A patriotic book.

For math, she learned to cast out nines in Life of Fred: Jellybeans.

And here are a couple of pictures from dance class...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Kindergarten Week 24

Sunday around sunset there was an extreme low tide (-0.6 feet). The low tide exposed a sandbar, and though we got down to the water about an hour after we should have, we still found a couple of treasures.
This is a picture of the sandbar from the shore.
And these two are pictures toward the shore from the sandbar.
I found a sea star! I've never found a sea star here. Sea stars in the aquarium are huge, but this one was tiny! I, of course, returned it to the water.
I also found (and put back) a live sand dollar.
I brought home this dead one, tiny and intact.
Two last pictures from the evening -sandpipers and sunset.
Gemma has not only an imaginary friend, but an entire imaginary family. The other day, she said she was using her imaginary key to lock the bedroom door, and I said, "You know the good thing about imaginary keys? You can't lose them." She matter-of-factly replied, "Oh yes you can." I stand corrected.
When I try to get rid of something, Gemma argues that it can't be parted with because it's a "seep-cake."
She's got the beginning of her tap routine nailed.
At our after school co-op, the kids made an apron of their insides. I was impressed with Gemma's skills with scissors.
Read Alouds: We just finished Jackanory: The Lazy Leprechaun, and started The Phantom Tollbooth.
As I type this, I'm sitting on my back porch, looking at Gemma's bucket of treasures from last Sunday, the scent of corn dogs from the pier wafting on a breeze.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Kindergarten: Week 23

*Drew a girl washing a lion
*Went to Sunday School and Church Mice
*Went to the library
*Read alouds included some re-readings from More Milly Molly Mandy, as well as Fly Guy: Bats (which led to watching a YouTube video explaining decibels), My Book House, and Ken Ludwig's book (we worked on the gestures for Bottom's speech)
*Played with patterns to figure out which number would come next in a sequence (Fibonacci numbers). You'll notice that because she's a pre-writer, I write the math problems for her. She likes to write the answers, but I don't want to frustrate her by having her write out the problems.
*Introduced prime numbers (used manipulatives to illustrate the concept that a number of items can be evenly divided different ways, and that any number of items can be divided evenly at least two ways - one group of x, or x groups of one - and that some numbers can be divided evenly only two ways)
*Went to CC (recited Shakespeare: Man is but an ass...)
*Went to afterschool co-op and learned about the circulatory system. Ate snacks of red blood cell Cheerios, platelet pretzels, and white blood cell marshmallows...
*Finally decided to color and put together her Ellen McHenry brain hat
*Did Epes Sargent reading lesson about words ending with "-ence"
*Watched some Ronja: The Robber's Daughter on Amazon Prime. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the theme song... I think we may need to make this a read aloud.
*Worked on playing "BINGO" with the correct timing. Eighth notes are tricky. Also worked on "The Little Green Frog." Thankfully, there are videos of children playing this song on YouTube, and children's librarians singing it. I had never heard the song.
*Went to dance class, and learned some more of her "Rockin' Robin" tap routine

Friday, January 20, 2017

Kindergarten: Week 22

Gemma practiced "I'm a Little Teapot" on piano.

Gemma went to ballet and tap class.
We learned that this June's dance recital song will be "Rockin' Robin," and that the costumes will be red. On "Rockin' Robin," the dancers make bird wings, and on "tweet, tweet, tweet," they flap flap flap. It's adorable.

We finished Life of Fred: Ice Cream, and started Life of Fred: Jellybeans.

Gemma read more Magic Tree House independently, and told me all about a unicorn that was trapped in a tapestry.

She's been weaving a potholder (a gift from Anita & Julia) for a few weeks, and finally finished!
We took a picture of "Flat Sammy from Myanmar" at the Santa Monica pier.
At Tinker Group, they did paper marbling.
Gemma got a maze book at the beginning of the week - Maze Craze: Magician's Castle.
Just being silly - Gemma in her Tinker Group safety glasses...
We did more Pimsleur Spanish in the car, reread some Milly Molly Mandy and My Book House, read aloud various other books, went to Church Mice and Sunday School, previewed CC memory work, etc.

Finally, here are a couple of this week's drawings...